||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Keeping A3G in action represents a new way to attack HIV
For years researchers have been trying to understand how a few HIV-infected patients naturally defeat a virus that otherwise overwhelms the immune system. Last year, a research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center confirmed that such patients, called long-term non-progressors, maintain higher than normal levels of the enzyme called APOBEC-3G (A3G) in their white blood cells, which function to stave off infections. Now, the same group has teamed up with a structural biologist to provide the first look at the A3G structure. Such information represents an early step toward the design of a new class of drugs that could afford to all the same natural protection enjoyed by few, according to a study published today in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Nov 7, 2006, 22:20
Fighting HIV With HIV Virus Itself
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report the first clinical test of a new gene therapy based on a disabled AIDS virus carrying genetic material that inhibits HIV replication. For the first application of the new vector five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens were given a single infusion of their own immune cells that had been genetically modified for HIV resistance.
Nov 7, 2006, 22:12
Retina can provide a very reliable way of diagnosing cerebral malaria
The eye can provide a very reliable way of diagnosing cerebral malaria, researchers in Malawi have shown. By looking at the changes to the retina, doctors are able to determine whether an unconscious child is suffering from this severe form of malaria or another, unrelated illness, leading to the most appropriate treatment.
Nov 7, 2006, 14:23
Are influenza vaccines worth the effort?
Each year enormous effort goes into producing influenza vaccines and delivering them to appropriate sections of the population. But a review of the evidence in this week's BMJ suggests that they may not be as effective as we think.
Oct 27, 2006, 16:57
A light daily exercise program may reduce the incidence of colds
A moderate exercise program may reduce the incidence of colds. A study published in the November issue of The American Journal of Medicine, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that otherwise sedentary women who engaged in moderate exercise had fewer colds over a one year period than a control group.
Oct 26, 2006, 17:20
HIV exploits competition among T-cells
A new HIV study shows how competition among the human immune system's T cells allows the virus to escape destruction and eventually develop into full-blown AIDS. The study, which employs a computer model of simultaneous virus and immune system evolution, also suggests a new strategy for vaccinating against the virus – a strategy that the computer simulations suggest may prevent the final onset of AIDS.
Oct 17, 2006, 02:08
Mass vaccination would not be necessary in the event of a smallpox bioterrorist attack
Mass vaccination would not be necessary in the event of a large-scale smallpox bioterrorist attack in the United States, according to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that appears online in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Oct 17, 2006, 02:07
How Ebola and Marburg viruses cause disease
Researchers in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Caribbean Primate Research Center have discovered a key mechanism by which the Filoviruses, Ebola and Marburg, cause disease. The identification of an amino acid sequence in Filoviruses that results in the rapid depression of immunological response is described in the December 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal. Using this information, researchers can begin to develop new drugs to stop these devastating diseases.
Oct 17, 2006, 02:01
Transmission of MRSA Linked to Previous Intensive Care Unit Room Occupants
Staying in a room in the intensive care unit previously occupied by a patient with treatment-resistant bacteria may increase the odds of acquiring such bacteria, according to a report in the October 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Two particular microorganisms cause significant illness and death in hospitals: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), according to background information in the article. Researchers previously found that 29 percent of patients who acquire these pathogens develop infections or other complications within 18 months. Floors, beds, gowns, faucets and other hospital room fixtures are persistently contaminated with these bacteria, but it is not known whether levels of the bacteria are high enough to infect additional patients or whether currently mandated cleaning practices are effective in reducing bacterial spread. “Although high-risk rooms may exist because of difficult-to-clean design or poor placement of hand hygiene equipment, transmission may be more directly linked to a prior occupant who harbors a resistant organism rather than to a particular room,” the authors write.
Oct 11, 2006, 05:18
Harmless GB Virus type C (GBV-C) protects against HIV infection
How a harmless virus called GB Virus type C (GBV-C) protects against HIV infection is now better understood. Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Iowa City Health Care System and the University of Iowa have identified a protein segment that strongly inhibits HIV from growing in cell models. The team found that an 85-amino acid segment within a GBV-C viral protein called NS5A greatly slows down HIV from replicating in cells grown in labs. The study results will appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding builds on earlier VA and UI work showing that people with HIV who also are infected GBV-C live longer than those infected only with HIV, said Jinhua Xiang, M.D., a VA research health scientific specialist, UI researcher and the current study's principal author.
Oct 10, 2006, 13:33
Oseltamivir significantly reduces the risk of death from influenza
Tamiflu (oseltamivir), is effective in reducing the risk of death associated with seasonal influenza in severely ill patients,1 according to new data presented today. Treatment of infected adults was associated with a 71 per cent reduction in mortality.1 These results demonstrate the importance of the role of antivirals in the management of seasonal influenza and highlights the seriousness and risk of mortality associated with it.
Oct 2, 2006, 01:35
Study defines effective microbicide design for HIV/AIDS prevention
Duke University biomedical engineers have developed a computer tool they say could lead to improvements in topical microbicides being developed for women to use to prevent infection by the virus that causes AIDS.
Oct 1, 2006, 23:12
Emergence of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis strains requires urgent action
New forms of highly drug-resistant tuberculosis are emerging and action must be taken soon before they become widespread globally, says an editorial in this week's BMJ.
Sep 15, 2006, 18:11
Prisons Unprepared for Flu Pandemic
As the fear of an impending avian flu pandemic is compelling hospitals, businesses and cities to develop preparedness plans, one of the most potentially dangerous breeding grounds of disease is woefully ill-prepared for a crisis, according to a new study being presented today by researchers at Saint Louis University.
Sep 15, 2006, 17:30
Leicester test might revolutionise management of diarrhoea in developing countries
University of Leicester scientists are heading a worldwide research project which could revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of diarrhoea in children in developing countries.
Sep 13, 2006, 19:57
HIV depends on human p75, study shows
Mayo Clinic virologists have discovered that a specific human protein is essential for HIV to integrate into the human genome. Their findings show that when HIV inserts itself into a chromosome, a key step that enables it to establish a "safe haven," it requires a specific protein -- LEDGF/p75 (p75). This protein forms a molecular tether between chromosomes and HIV's integrating protein (integrase). If the connection can be disrupted in the future, it might lead to new therapy for HIV or safer methods of gene therapy.
Sep 9, 2006, 00:40
Study shows rising incidence of CA-MRSA muscle infections
Researchers in Houston, Texas have found two bacterial muscle infections common in tropical countries becoming more frequent occurrences along with the emergence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.
Sep 7, 2006, 00:33
New findings could lead to vaccine for severe malaria
The most severe form of malaria hits pregnant women and children the hardest. A joint study between Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Makerere University in Uganda has now produced some important findings on how the malaria parasite conceals itself in the placenta. Plasmodium falciparium is the name of by far the most virulent of the four malaria parasites that infect man. It is particularly dangerous in that it also infects the placenta of pregnant women, with fatal consequences for both her and the foetus. This, combined with the often feeble medical resources of malaria-stricken countries, can lead to such serous complications that the mother dies during delivery.
Sep 4, 2006, 17:00
University of Pittsburgh receives $1.3 million grant for developing a promising avian flu vaccine
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., has awarded a $1.3 million, two-year grant to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to produce a promising avian flu vaccine that could be used in Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials
Aug 29, 2006, 03:17
Survivors of Childhood Polio Do Well Decades Later As They Age
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that years after experiencing childhood polio, most survivors do not experience declines greater than expected in their elderly counterparts, but rather experience only modest increased weakness which may be commensurate with normal aging.
Aug 21, 2006, 15:14
Monoclonal antibody recognizes a specific sugar on the surface of anthrax bacteria spores
Spores of the dreaded Bacillus anthracis have already been used as a bioweapon against the civilian population. Once inhaled, the anthrax pathogen almost always leads to death if the victims are not treated within 24 to 48 hours. Rapid and accurate diagnosis is thus vital. A team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, the Swiss Tropical Institute, and the University of Bern has now developed a new immunological approach that can be used to specifically recognize anthrax spores.
Aug 18, 2006, 18:47
Simplified treatment of HIV infection shows promise
A preliminary study indicates that using a single boosted protease inhibitor instead of the standard regimen of 3 drugs for maintenance therapy may be an effective treatment for select patients with HIV infection, according to a study in the August 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on HIV/AIDS.
Aug 14, 2006, 13:43
Clinical trial evaluates first-line approaches for treating HIV
In the first head-to-head comparison between two commonly used HIV treatments, researchers found one triple-drug therapy was significantly more effective at reducing HIV viral load in the blood when used as a first-line treatment. Results of the clinical trial, which sought to determine from among three different therapies the optimal approach for patients beginning HIV treatment for the first time, will be reported at the XVI International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006).
Aug 14, 2006, 13:25
T cells activated to fight HIV basis for dendritic cell therapeutic vaccine
Having their immune system cells go through a laboratory version of boot camp may help patients win their battle against HIV, believe University of Pittsburgh researchers. In essence, that's the concept behind the development of a novel therapeutic vaccine loaded with a patient's own souped up dendritic cells, which have been galvanized to rally other cells of the immune system in fighting the virus unique to that individual.
Aug 14, 2006, 12:16
B cells with special protein direct HIV to T cells
HIV infection of T cells requires activation of a molecule on the surface of B cells, a finding that reveals yet another pathway the virus uses in its insidious attack on the immune system, University of Pittsburgh researchers will report at the XVI International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2006).
Aug 14, 2006, 12:11
TMC-114 (Darunavir) to be used as first treatment for drug-resistant HIV
Doctors have their first FDA-approved tool to treat drug-resistant HIV thanks to a new molecule created by a Purdue University researcher.
Aug 3, 2006, 17:14
Explaining peaks and troughs of dengue epidemics
Scientists have long known that epidemics of dengue fever wax and wane over a period of several years, but they've never been quite sure why. With the incidence and range of the potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness increasing, understanding the factors that influence these epidemics has never been more important.
Jul 31, 2006, 11:31
HIV hides from drugs in gut, preventing immune recovery
UC Davis researchers have discovered that the human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS, is able to survive efforts to destroy it by hiding out in the mucosal tissues of the intestine. They also found that HIV continues to replicate in the gut mucosa, suppressing immune function in patients being treated with antiretroviral therapy--even when blood samples from the same individuals indicated the treatment was working.
Jul 30, 2006, 02:32
Gene Therapy Possible for AIDS by Cultivating T-cells from Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine have demonstrated for the first time that human embryonic stem cells can be genetically manipulated and coaxed to develop into mature T-cells, raising hopes for a gene therapy to combat AIDS.
Jul 10, 2006, 20:34
Novel DNA-Based H5N1(Avian) influenza vaccine
PowderMed Ltd today announced that it has submitted regulatory documentation to the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for permission to conduct a clinical trial to test their proprietary H5N1 or avian influenza (bird flu) vaccine. It is planned that the trial will be conducted at a clinical research unit in London.
Jul 10, 2006, 19:26